Tags: Michigan

Polling Shows AG Candidates Are Under the Radar


Many voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, and Arizona still have no idea who their choice for attorney general will be come November.

Less than two months before Election Day, polling in each state shows anywhere between 20-28 percent of voters undecided. Candidates in those states have a lot of campaigning and convincing left to do.

In Wisconsin, Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ has seen a seven point lead over Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel a month ago evaporate to a single point. The nosedive happened after stories circulated that her office reduced two felony child sexual-assault charges to a single misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for a man who had once purchased property from Happ and her husband.

While Happ leads Schimel 39-38 in the most recent poll, 20 percent of respondents are claiming undecided.

Incumbent Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette is more comfortable in Michigan, leading Democrat Mark Totten 40.5 percent to 32.5 percent. However, an even higher number of voters than in Wisconsin – 27 percent – don’t yet know for whom they will cast their ballot.

Republican Cynthia Coffman of Colorado is outpacing her Democrat rival, Don Quick, by ten points, but nearly a quarter of voters are undecided.

In Arizona, 28 percent of independent voters – a crucial bloc for both candidates to win over – do not yet have a favorite in the race between Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini.

“Campaigns for attorney general get scant media attention,” Fred Barnes wrote for The Weekly Standard, “causing voters to ignore down-ballot races.”

Charles Franklin, professor of law and public policy and director of the Marquette Law School poll agrees with Barnes’ take, noting “even in a competitive AG race, the governor’s race just overshadows everything else.”

This is certainly proving to be the case in these four states where far fewer voters – 5 to 11 percent – remain undecided on their choice for governor.

Scott Will, political director for the Republican Attorneys General Association, believes disapproval of the president, and frustration with Congress all on the rise, will help his party’s AG candidates overcome a lack of voter recognition.

“Voters might not yet know much about either candidate,” Will said. “But, they do know that we cannot elect someone who would allow further intrusion of the federal government into the operation of individual states.”

Tags: Colorado , Wisconsin , Michigan , Arizona

New Poll Shows Schuette Pulling Ahead in Reelection Bid


A recent poll on the Michigan attorney general race shows GOP incumbent Bill Schuette leading his Democratic opponent Mark Totten 40-38 with 21 percent of voters still undecided. The Detroit News also reports that Schuette has a name-identification advantage with voters. “More than 76 percent of respondents to the poll said they have never heard of Totten. About 60 percent of likely voters surveyed could identify Schuette by name.”

Tags: Michigan

Tuesday AG News Round-up


Former United States attorney general Ed Meese spoke with Genevieve Wood of the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal about “the most lawless administration in the history of the country.” Meese goes on to say that he believes the greatest protection of Constitutional limits on the president are members of Congress who will only take action “when they understand the people are behind them.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association is planning a $1.2 million Arizona television ad buy, the Arizona Republic is reporting. No word from RAGA about the content of the ad. The news comes on the same day Democrat candidate Felecia Rotellini began running her first ad in the race against Republican Mark Brnovich.

Pam Bondi, Republican attorney general of Florida, is out with a new television ad focusing on her fight against drug abuse in the state. Her opponent, Democrat George Sheldon, called it “a solid ad,” and comments, “I think that’s a remarkable accomplishment. I’m very pleased that Pam is articulating that issue,” the Tampa Tribune reports.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette earned the endorsement of the Michigan Retailers Association in his reelection race against Democrat Mark Trotten. This endorsement is added to an expanding list which includes the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police and the Partnership for Michigan’s Health, to name a few. Trotten’s endorsements come primarily from unions including the SEIU Michigan State Council, as well as the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.

Tags: Arizona , Florida , Michigan

Monday AG News Round-up


Michigan attorney general, Republican Bill Schuette, is entering the fall election cycle with four times as much cash on hand advantage as his Democrat opponent, Mark Trotten, and has outraised him 12-1 The Detroit News reports.

The race to become Wisconsin’s next AG is quickly turning into a finger-pointing game about who is tougher on crime, despite Democrat Susan Happ’s half-hearted memo requesting otherwise.

Mark Brnovich, Republican candidate for Arizona AG has racked up the highly-coveted endorsement of former attorney general Bob Corbin.

Keeping the topic in the news, a letter-writer to the Las Vegas Review Journal calls the unauthorized leaking of documents from Nevada AG candidate Republican Adam Laxalt’s former law firm a “grossly unfair and misleading tactic.” 

Tags: Michigan , Wisconsin , Arizona , Nevada

Friday AG News Round-up


Republican incumbent attorney general Luther Strange is running for reelection in Alabama against Democrat Joe Hubbard. As ABC affiliate WNCF reports, while the race may be closer than many think, “Hubbard has to overcome being a Democrat.” Sounds a similar challenge faced by the Democratic candidate for AG in Arizona.

As I noted yesterday, Wisconsin Democrat Susan Happ asked media outlets to avoid the temptation of cherry-picking cases (despite doing so herself) to scrutinize her in her race against Republican Brad Schimel. It appears at least one group is choosing to follow Happ’s actions and ignore her words.

Ken Paxton, GOP candidate for attorney general in Texas, has earned the endorsement of the Texas Business Association.

Bill Schuette, Republican Attorney General of Michigan, has announced the National Federation of Independent Business’ PAC has endorsed his reelection bid.

Tags: Alabama , Wisconsin , Texas , Michigan

Morning AG Roundup


Wisconsin AG candidate Democrat Susan Happ is under fire for a plea deal her office made with a defendant accused of child sexual assault. Records show Happ sold Daniel Reynolds property prior to his being charged with first and second-degree sexual assaults of a child. Reynolds agreed to plead guilty to single reduced charge of disorderly conduct, stipulating to requirements including no trouble with the law for 12 months.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, has filed a motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals which would allow him to enforce a provision in a new state law requiring all abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as ambulatory surgery centers. A federal judge last week threw out the provision. “Abbott criticized Yeakel in his motion to the appellate court, saying the district judge ‘failed even to mention (much less follow) precedent’ from the appellate court and U.S. Supreme Court,” reports the Houston Chronicle.

Michigan’s Republican AG Bill Schuette has joined with Gov. Rick Snyder to remind Saginaw voters state law takes precedence over a proposed city ordinance decriminalizing marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, but recreational use or possession is still a criminal offense.

Iowa GOP attorney general candidate Adam Gregg has received the endorsement of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

Tags: Wisconsin , Texas , Michigan , Iowa

Obama to Campaign in States Where His Job Approval Is In the Mid-40s


President Obama’s autumn campaign schedule feels a lot like President Bush’s safe-state only itinerary in 2006: “The White House is putting the finishing touches on a post-Labor Day schedule that will send the president to states where he’s still popular, such as: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California, Obama officials and Democratic operatives said this week.”

Michigan is the only state with a competitive Senate race on that list. Republican Terri Lynn Land is keeping it close with Democrat Rep. Gary Peters. In the governor’s race, incumbent Republican Rick Snyder has held a small lead over Democrat Mark Schauer. Note that PPP found Obama’s approval rating in Michigan at 43 percent in early July.

Democrats are feeling cheerier about their odds in Wisconsin’s governor’s race, where Mary Burke is neck-and-neck with incumbent Republican Scott Walker. (Obama held a Labor Day rally in Wisconsin Monday.) But recent polling puts President Obama’s approval rating in Wisconsin at 44 percent

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Tom Wolf appears set to easily beat incumbent Republican Tom Corbett. (NRO’s John Fund dissects the Corbett implosion here.) Wolf may not particularly want the presidential help; the most recent Franklin & Marshall poll put President Obama’s approval at 34 percent

Illinois, President Obama’s home state, offers a Senate race that is not expected to be competitive, with incumbent Dick Durbin heavily favored over Jim Oberweis. But Republicans appear likely to win the governor’s race, with Bruce Rauner enjoying a solid lead over beleaguered incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.  An early August poll put President Obama’s job approval at 45 percent among Illinois registered voters.

In California, Jerry Brown is expected to win reelection over Neel Kashkari. The Field Poll released today found Obama’s job approval at 45 percent — which doesn’t sound so bad, but it’s the lowest ever recorded in that poll.  

​Back in 2006, the Washington Post looked at then-President Bush’s schedule in deep red states and concluded, “The politician who has done more than anyone else over the past decade to build and expand the Republican Party has become a liability to Republicans in many parts of the country.”

Eight years later, the politician who as done more than anyone else over the past decade to build and expand the Democratic Party has become a liability to Democrats in many parts of the country — perhaps even in some states he won twice.

Tags: Barack Obama , Michigan , Wisconsin , Pennsylvania , Illinois , California

Morning AG Roundup


Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is leading his Democrat opponent, Mark Trotten, 40 to 34 percent a newly released poll shows.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s office is being investigated for the management of grant money distributed from of the Crime Victim Assistance Division.

Texas GOP candidate Ken Paxton, running to fill the AG seat vacated by Greg Abbott, has racked up another significant law enforcement endorsement.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is far outpacing his challenger, Democrat David Pepper, maintaining a 29-point lead according to internal polling from the Ohio GOP.

A rundown of the primary win challenger Mark Brnovich pulled out over current GOP Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne notes that despite outspending Brnovich, the charges against Horne and investigations into alleged misconduct proved too much for him to hang on.

John Cahill, GOP challenger to sitting New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, blasted his opponent yesterday for accepting campaign contributions from law firms currently under investigation by the AG’s office.

Tags: Michigan , Iowa , Texas , Ohio , Arizona , New York

Intriguing New Polling Numbers in Iowa, Colorado, and Michigan


Apparently the polling world saved up all of its intriguing results for Wednesday!

First, NBC News in Iowa . . . 

The closely watched Iowa Senate race between Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley is locked in a dead heat, a new NBC News/Marist poll shows, while New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has an eight point lead over likely Republican challenger Scott Brown.

In Iowa, Ernst and Braley each have the support of 43 percent of registered voters. But both candidates remain unknown to many in the state; 14 percent of voters are undecided about who they support in the race, and about a third say they are unsure about their opinion on the candidates or have never heard of them.

NBC also finds former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown trailing incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen by 8, also among registered voters. It will be interesting to see if a likely voter screen improves either Ernst or Brown’s positions.

Then Quinnipiac, out in Colorado . . . 

Despite stronger voter optimism about Colorado’s economy than found in many states, the race for governor is tied, with 43 percent for Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper and 44 percent for former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters give Gov. Hickenlooper a split job approval rating, with 48 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving, compared to a 52 – 39 percent approval rating in an April 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

Wait, there’s more. A Democratic polling firm in Michigan finds their preferred Senate candidate, Gary Peters, with 39.5 percent and Republican Terri Lynn Land with 37.3 percent.

Tags: Iowa , Colorado , Michigan

Hey, Could We Poll Some Likely Voters Someday Soon?


NBC News is out with some interesting, but frustrating, new polls in Colorado and Michigan. The polls put Democrats ahead in both Senate races, which is a perfectly plausible result, but the poll only surveyed registered voters. Hey, guys, early voting starts in mid-October in Colorado. It’s mid-July. Is it too much to ask for a likely voter screen? Somehow other pollsters manage to do this!

Also note this result:

In Colorado, 52 percent of voters view the law as a bad idea — including 46 percent who hold that position strongly. That’s compared with just 37 percent who believe the law is a good idea.

Michigan voters think similarly — 50 percent see it as a bad idea, 32 percent a good idea.

“Democrats’ strength is women, and Republicans’ strength is health care,” says Marist pollster Barbara Carvalho.

President Obama also is unpopular in these two states he carried in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential races: In both, just 40 percent of registered voters approve of his job.

Tags: Polling , Colorado , Michigan

Could Michigan’s Eighth District Replace a Mike with a Mike?


Representative Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, surprised the political world by announcing that he won’t run for another term and will instead begin a new career hosting a radio show.

This leaves Republicans in need of a candidate in Michigan’s eighth congressional district, an R+2 district that includes Lansing, the state capital, and Michigan State University. The GOP candidate will be slightly favored in this open-seat race, but it is by no means a sure thing.

I’m hearing the name Mike Bishop mentioned as a potential GOP candidate; he’s a former prosecutor and state-senate majority leader whose last bid for office was a campaign for Oakland County prosecutor in 2012. He lost in the general election to an incumbent Democrat, 45 percent to 51 percent, in a year when Obama was winning the county with 53 percent.

The Detroit News mentions several other potential GOP candidates:

state Rep. Bill Rogers of Brighton, who is term-limited, state Sen. Joe Hune from Livingston County and state Rep. Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills, who is trailing in polling currently in a state Senate race.

Tags: Mike Rogers , Mike Bishop , Michigan

Michigan’s Senate Race, Still Looking Like a Jump Ball


Rep. Gary Peters, a House Democrat from Michigan who probably expected an easy road to a Senate victory this November, can breathe a bit easier at a poll out today that has him ahead of Republican Terri Lynn Land.

He’s up by three.

And below 40 percent.

Peters is just below 40 percent, in a polling sample where 38.8 percent identified themselves as Democrat, 31.5 percent as Republican, 24.2 percent as independent. (In 2010, the last midterm election, a statewide exit poll indicated 44 percent of respondents self-identified as Republican,  and 37 percent self-identified as Democrat.)

But hey, that’s the first poll that has had Peters with any lead at all in a while


Tags: Michigan , Terri Lynn Land , Gary Peters

Look! A Birther Running for Governor in Michigan!


Isn’t it awful? Mark McFarlin, a candidate for governor in Michigan, suggests that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States, and says he has doubts about the authenticity of the copy of Obama’s birth certificate released to the public. (He contends the phrase “African-American” appears on the certificate, but it does not. The term “African” does appear on the line identifying the race of the president’s father.)

Oh, by the way, he’s a Democrat.

(This post originally mixed up McFarlin with Tim Skubick, the author of the linked piece.)

Tags: Barack Obama , Michigan

The Obamacare Exchanges: 0 for Michigan So Far


Unbelievable . . . okay, it’s actually increasingly believable that the Obamacare exchanges are 0 for Michigan.

Two weeks after the launch of the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace, it’s still unclear how many Michiganders have been able to buy insurance there.

Comments earlier today by the chief deputy of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services underscored the lingering confusion over health insurance exchanges, the centerpiece in each state of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Ann Flood, who on Nov. 1 will become the director of the department, said she checked with her staff and “we actually do not have any confirmation of anyone (in Michigan) signing up on the exchange.”

Lest you think the state is particularly short on uninsured people, the Michigan Household Survey on Health Insurance calculated that 790,000 people in the state do not have health insurance. In August, the Michigan senate narrowly passed an expansion of Medicaid, an essential part of the politically divisive Obamacare, an expansion that “is expected to add health coverage for 470,000 uninsured when fully in place.”

Tags: Obamacare , Michigan

NRSC: Obama’s Job Rating Is Lower in Michigan Than in Some Red States


The National Republican Senatorial Committee is feeling optimistic about next year’s open-seat Senate race in Michigan. From a new memo by Ward Baker, NRSC political director:

If someone would have told me a year ago that the Michigan Senate seat would be in play in 2014 I would have encouraged them to seek professional help. I would have said that there’s no way, in a mid-term election with so many Senate seats in play, in states that President Obama lost by double digits, we would be focused on a state that Mitt Romney lost by nine points.
What a difference a year makes.
Michigan has undergone dramatic shifts in public opinion over the last twelve months. Nowhere is that shift more pronounced than in President Obama’s favorability. On Election Day 2012, Obama enjoyed a 57% fav-41% unfav image among Michigan voters, and took 54% of the vote. Today, his image has dropped to one-to-one (48%-46%) in the latest EPIC-MRA poll.
More critical, President Obama’s job performance rating is worse in Michigan than it is in some of the red states, with six-in-ten giving him a negative score (39% positive-60% negative). And, in a mid-term where Obama will not be on the ballot himself, it will be his job and not his likability that will have the most down-ballot influence.
At the same time, voters in the state are becoming less positive about the direction of the country under Obama (28% right direction-59% wrong track, was 31%-57% in May), and more positive about the direction of Michigan under a Republican Governor (42% right direction-42% wrong track, was 40%-46% in May). All this might explain why Sen. Carl Levin — who everyone assumes would have been a shoo-in for re-election — announced six months ago that he would not seek another term in the Senate.
Almost immediately, Rep. Gary Peters threw his hat in the ring. The same Gary Peters who has already been rejected statewide by Michigan voters once. The same Gary Peters who is virtually unknown by the majority of the state. The same Gary Peters who stood by idly, offering no hope and no vision, while Detroit — which he represents — literally went bankrupt.
National Democrats tripped over themselves to unite behind Peters’ lackluster candidacy, and have spent the better part of the last months trying to convince everyone, including themselves, that he’s a top tier candidate.
But the truth shall set you free, and the truth is that the environment is turning away from Democrats in Michigan. The truth is the majority of Michigan doesn’t have a clue who Gary Peters is. The truth is the few people in Michigan who actually do know who Gary Peters is are terribly unenthusiastic about his candidacy. But don’t take my word for it. One recent poll showed Gary Peters’ image is 18% fav-10% unfav, with over half not recognizing his name (55% never heard of).
By comparison, the Republican Terri Lynn Land has won statewide in Michigan. Twice. Land is better known and liked (28% fav-10% unfav) than her opponent, and performs extremely well on the ballot in multiple polls. She is within a point on the EPIC-MRA poll, leads in the recent Mitchell Poll from August (up from being tied in March), Denno Research has them currently tied, in March Harper Polling took a glance at the race and had Land up by eight (though Land and Peters both in the 20s at that point), and even PPP shows Land within striking distance.
With six polls showing this race is tight, President Obama’s popularity and approval plummeting, and the fact that most Michigan voters don’t have a clue who Gary Peters is, Michigan is one more state where Democrats will be on defense and Republicans will be on offense. It’s one more state (along with Kentucky, Georgia, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina and South Dakota) where Democrats will be forced to spend millions to try and drag a lackluster candidate across the finish line. A daunting task made even more daunting given the fact that the DSCC is already drowning in debt.
Michigan is in play, and the Democrat majority is in serious jeopardy.

We should note that while Levin’s retirement may reflect concerns about poll numbers, it may also reflect that he’s 79 years old and has served six terms. The polling numbers are intriguing, though, and one has to wonder if Detroit will continue to be a reliable trove of votes for Democrats as the city’s quality of life continues to deteriorate. Also note that Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, has a healthy lead in his bid for reelection. Perhaps a wholescale urban economic disaster has scrambled the traditional political calculus in this state.

Tags: NRSC , Michigan , Terri Lynn Land , Gary Peters

Michigan Judge to Decide on Senate Bid Soon


Back in early July, the National Republican Senatorial Committee met with Oakland County district-court judge Kimberly Small about the open Senate seat in Michigan, according to the Washington Post. A little bird familiar with Michigan politics tells me Small will make her decision by September 1, and is likely to run.

As a judge, Small doesn’t have the name ID in the political realm, but she has garnered some favorable coverage in her 17 years on the bench. Small currently is judge for a district that includes Michigan’s wealthier communities, including the charter townships of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield and the cities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake Village, and Sylvan Lake.

She travels to middle schools and presides over mock trials to help teach kids about making good choices.

Small garnered national headlines when she sentenced former University of Michigan and NBA basketball player Jalen Rose to 20 days behind bars for drunk driving, telling him, “You’re not here because you drank. I have no problem with that. Have at it. I do mind when you get behind the wheel of a two-ton vehicle and use it as a weapon against the rest of us.”

She has garnered some controversy for sentencing nearly all first-time drunk-driving offenders to jail:

Of course, “she’s too tough on drunk drivers” is not a line often heard in attack ads.

Six-term incumbent senator Carl Levin, a Democrat, is retiring. Representative Gary Peters is expected to be the Democrats’ Senate nominee.

Terri Lynn Land, member of the Republican National Committee and former Michigan secretary of state, is the only other declared Republican candidate for Senate. Representative Justin Amash said last month he’s still thinking about it.

Tags: Michigan , Kimberly Small , Justin Amash , Terri Lynn Land , Gary Peters

Will the GOP’s Rogers Run for Senate in Michigan?


Here’s a serious option for Republicans in Michigan’s Senate race: Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers has joined a growing list of Republicans who may run in 2014 for the Senate seat that Democrat Carl Levin plans to vacate.

Rogers of Howell, a former FBI agent, has served in Congress since 2001 and is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“I am giving the Senate race serious consideration,” Rogers told the Free Press on Saturday.

The Free Press mentions two other potential GOP candidates, former secretary of state Terri Lynn Land and U.S. representative Justin Amash. On the Democratic side, Representative Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, said he is seriously considering a run.

Brian Dickerson, a columnist for that newspaper, contends that Michigan Democrats have been running on their past, and desperately need an infusion of youth:

Three of the five congressional seats the party still controls are held by men in their 70s or 80s; by contrast, only two of the Michigan’s delegation’s nine GOP members (Reps. Tim Walberg and Kerry Bentivolio) have reached their 60th birthdays.

The result is that the names that have defined the Democratic Party for the last decade or so — Levin, Dingell, Kelly, Granholm — belong either to septuagenarians whose lease on power is expiring or, in Granholm’s case, to a woman who has decamped to another venue and vocation.

Tags: Justin Amash , Michigan , Mike Rogers

Our New New Tone: ‘There Will Be Blood!’ ‘Civil War!’


From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

The New ‘New Tone’ of Our Politics, From Michigan: ‘There Will Be Blood!’

The massive public tantrum of Wisconsin’s unions didn’t work in that state in 2011, but labor unions are willing to try the same in Michigan.

Conn Carroll:

“There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state.

“I really wish we had not gone here,” Geiss continued. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on election day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the 11th hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.”

But wait, there’s more!

Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Tuesday he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into “civil war” after the state’s legislature passed right-to-work bills that would weaken unions’ power.

“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.” The Republican-controlled state House passed two bills that had already been approved by the GOP-dominated state Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is poised to sign the bill, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues.

“There will be blood!” “We’re going to have civil war!” Meanwhile, outside the state capitol:

Tempers flared Tuesday morning here at the state Capitol as police — some on horses — moved into to break up a mob scene as the Republican-controlled House approved a contentious right-to-work bill.

Thousands of union members and friends of organized labor gathered to show their opposition, at times heated, to the legislation that prohibits unions from forcing unionized employees to pay union dues or join labor groups.

Gov. Rick Snyder had not yet signed the bill into law, although he has signaled that he would.

By mid-morning, the Capitol was a scene of chaos as union members and organizers from pro-right-to-work Americans for Prosperity got into a shouting match. Wisconsin Reporter’s Ryan Ekvall, at the scene, said right-to-work opponents grew increasingly agitated over AFP’s signs.

“There was some pushing and shoving. At one point, I was in the middle of the crowd; it was like a mosh pit where you couldn’t control yourself. You were being moved with the crowd,” Ekvall said.

He saw two lines of police officers forming, “marching like military,” with four officers mounted on horses. They dispersed the crowd and restored peace to the section of the grounds. Before doing so, union members pulled up the tent stakes, and the tent collapsed with some AFP members inside, according to witnesses at the scene.

Our Christian Schneider spoke with David Fladeboe of Americans for Prosperity, who was working security outside the tent:

Fladeboe said the tent, for which AFP-Michigan had received a permit a week earlier, held between 30 and 40 people before protesters began stabbing at its straps with knives. He said that at first, protesters were targeting random straps to avoid being caught — then, finally, they focused on one corner of the tent in an effort to pull it down. Fladeboe said that even once several of the straps were cut, the local police on the scene did little to help the volunteers re-secure them.

Eventually, protesters were able to snap one of the tent stakes in half and pull it from beneath the tent, causing it to collapse. Fladeboe said that despite reports that the tent had been cleared of people before it went down, there were about a dozen people still trapped inside after it had fully collapsed.  “You could see people inside of it trying to get up, and you could see the tent moving,” he said — a problem exacerbated by the fact that protesters began “stomping” on top of the collapsed canvas while volunteers tried to help those trapped inside.

Before it had collapsed, the tent was held up by two 20-foot poles, which had to have fallen for it to collapse; volunteers were worried that those poles could have landed on someone stuck inside the tent. There also was hot coffee and hot chocolate served inside the tent that could have burned people if tipped over.

Fladeboe said that once the tent was clear of people, the protesters began pushing and shoving them — it was only then that the police got involved.

Here’s what’s left of the tent. A sports feature writer at Detroit Free Press characterizes the union mob’s reaction to the AfP tent as “taking the bait.” I suppose that’s one way of looking at it; it says something about those union members that all it took to “bait” them into a frothing mass of violence was someone being present and expressing a different opinion than them.

And then poor Fox News contributor Steven Crowder, best known for making funny videos, got punched in the face repeatedly and chipped a tooth.

“Even if you hate me, nothing I could have done warranted being suckerpunched and threatened with murder,” Crowder said.

Instapundit reader Michael Lotus writes:

No matter what Obama does, there is going to be a lot more of this.

These guys are out of ideas, out of money, and have no sane argument to make for what they want everyone else to pay for.

Thank God for camera phones. Even ten years ago, they would have done a lot worse, and gotten away with it.

And to answer your question, my guess is Obama says nothing and the news media does not cover it, which means it never happened.

Or it would mean that if it weren’t for camera phones and the Internet.

Crowder showed good restraint. If he had thrown a punch, he’d have been stomped to death.

Glenn adds, “We need to identify this guy and make an example of him. And his union bosses. I’ve pledged $1000 toward the reward fund.”

“Obviously this is just another example of the Koch brothers’ inciting violence,” groans Jonah, with a good video posted in the Corner.

Our Jillian Kay Melchior was at the capitol and found:

Few of the protesters I spoke to argued against right-to-work on the merits. Instead, their complaint seems to boil down to the suggestion that this is an attack on representative government. Many of them seemed to think that if they don’t get to exercise their political rights through direct democracy, they are being denied their freedoms outright.

That’s a profound misunderstanding of the American political system (and most every political system, ever).

Iowahawk summarizes, “What’s the difference between Mafia and unions? One threatens to kill you if you don’t give them money, the other dresses snappy.”

Tags: Michigan , Union Goons

Obama to Hold Rally in Michigan Today


Here’s how the president will be spending his Monday:

Later in the morning, the President will travel to Redford, Michigan. The departure from the South Lawn and the arrival at Metro-Wayne County Airport are open press.

At Daimler Detroit Diesel, the President will tour the plant and then deliver remarks to workers. There will be out-of-town travel pool coverage of the President’s tour and the President’s remarks will be open press.

In the afternoon, the President will depart Redford, Michigan en route Washington, DC. The departure from Metro-Wayne County Airport and the arrival on the South Lawn are open press.

The campaign-style rally with auto workers is expected to help the president lock down Michigan’s 16 electoral votes in the 2012 presidential election, which he won November 6.

Tags: Barack Obama , Michigan

Obama Buys One Week of Ads in Michigan


Michigan is now at least in play, as I am told by reliable sources that the Obama campaign is buying a week’s worth of television ads in the Detroit market. Mark Halperin is hearing the same things.

This is an ad purchase aimed at securing Michigan; it is not aimed at crossing into Ohio or any other state. Detroit’s radio market runs into Monroe County, which borders the Buckeye State, but it does not cross over, as some metropolitan media markets do.

This is the eleventh-largest media market in the United States and one of the more expensive ones, particularly compared to the smaller cities that make up most key swing-state markets.

Tags: Barack Obama , Michigan , Mitt Romney


Subscribe to National Review